The 14th edition of the UIC World Security Congress was jointly organised by the Slovenian Railways, Slovenske železnice, together with UIC, under the umbrella theme “Crisis Management and Resilience”, which focused on the handling of (partial) blackout situations.
Over 100 participants from 23 countries attended the conference. Among them were police, Slovenian security agencies and railway representatives of the UIC Security Platform, Chaired by Mr Marc Beaulieu, Chairman of the UIC Security Platform from VIA Rail, Canada and by Piotr Kurcz, Vice Chair of the UIC Security Platform.
During the congress opening, Mr Kranjc, Director of SŽ-Infrastructure, Ms Kocjan, Director General of Land Transport Directorate, Ministry of Infrastructure Republic of Slovenia, Mr Loubinoux, Director General of UIC, Mr Beaulieu, Chairman of the UIC Security Platform, and Mr Piotr Kurcz, Vice Chairman, welcomed the participants of the 14th Security Congress. Mr Kranjc presented inter alia the Slovenian railway network and its future development including the importance of Koper Port for Slovenia. Ms Kocjan focused on the importance of crisis management and particularly underlined the blackout situation involving an ice storm in Slovenia in 2014. During his speech, Mr Jean-Pierre Loubinoux highlighted in particular the tunnel safety and security workshop on 16 October 2018, followed by the theme of the congress, “Crisis Management” and the relationship between UIC and the Members. To conclude the opening session, Mr Beaulieu, and Mr Kurcz underlined the importance of the UIC Security Platform, its activities and projects.
This year, the congress was organised among four technical sessions with various presentations on the following topics:
- Blackout Situation in Slovenia in 2014
- Ice storms and impact on railways
- Blackout Situation – Railway experience and challenges
- Crisis Management
Within the closing session of the UIC Security Congress, the participants were informed about the upcoming Rail Security HUB, the activities within the network of quick responders and UIC research projects.
- The Rail Security HUB platform will enable its future users to access a variety of security solutions in an efficient and user-friendly way, using search keywords to describe the security concerns they’re called to address (ranging from daily crime to serious offences). In addition to that, the Hub will integrate various interactive features with the aim of fostering and improving cooperation and sharing of operational practices and experiences among its users. The Rail Security Hub will soon be available at: www.RailSecurityHub.org.
- Since the implementation in 2017, 10 member requests were already discussed effectively within the network of quick responders and gave the opportunity to receive answers within a short time and to organise suitable follow up activities for the members.
- The project SHERPA “Shared and CoHerent European Railway Protection Approach”, funded by the European Commission, will start on 13 November 2018 and will address consistent security policies among the UIC members.
At the request of the Slovenian railways, in advance of the 14th UIC Security Congress, a dedicated workshop about safety and security of tunnels was organised and served as an opportunity to underline the need to develop congruence between security and safety.
The presentations given during the congress are available within the private UIC security workspace at https://extranet.uic.org/index.php?idx=list&id=169&gr=Y&path=Security%2F01+-+Security+Platform+-+Annual+Congresses%2F2018+-+14th+UIC+World+Congress+on+crisis+management+and+resilience+-+Bled%2C+Slovenia+-++16+-+18+October&tg=fileman
Conclusions & next steps:
At the request of the Members of the UIC Security Platform, a series of dedicated topics regarding Crisis Management & Resilience was planned for 2018. On 13 – 14 February 2018 a first workshop about crisis communication and social media was organised (see eNews No. 585). Within the 4th UIC Security Week a workshop regarding Business Continuity Management took place on 21 June 2018 (see eNews No. 605). Awareness-raising of the impact of (partial) blackout situations on the railway environment and their handling were presented vividly through the 14th UIC World Security Congress.
All the information gathered among these activities will be enriched and summarised in recommendations and guidelines to improve the current crisis management activities and plans as well as to show the interfaces to related themes. The publication is scheduled to be released at the latest by the beginning of 2019.